March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Destroye

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gojirob, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Posted as part of the March Challenge - Failure.

    Part of The Ancient Destroyer AU.

    Summary : One day, Peter Kirk will stand with his heroes aboard the USS Enterprise and face the ultimate enemy. But this is not that day, and the young hero is going down hard.


    The Battle Of Riverside

    by Rob Morris



    *There were ships of shapes and sizes
    Scattered out along the bay
    And I thought I heard her calling
    As the steamer pulled away
    The Invaders must have seen them
    As across the coast they filed
    Standing firm between them
    There lay Thunder Child* - From Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of HG Wells' War Of The Worlds




    RIVERSIDE, IOWA, 2268


    In a world full of many questions with many levels, Peter Kirk still knew several things to be true. That his legal parents, his little brother and indeed everyone else on Deneva were dead was one of them, and in the case of little Marcus Kirk, aged one and a half and then not a single day more, this was perhaps a defining fact of his existence. Even a would-be hero knew he couldn't save everyone. But why he could not have saved just that one was a question that literally haunted him.


    That his heroes aboard the starship Enterprise cared about him was another. Would he ever be able to tell them how those two months, two months of being just an ordinary kid, had saved his sanity, and possibly his soul? Someday, he swore that he would. Two already knew. Legally and by private ceremony, respectively, James Kirk and Nyota Uhura had become his new parents. That he felt closer to them than he ever had to Sam and Aurelan was not his fault, he reasoned. They had broken the parent-child bond, not Peter.


    Another fact was that Grandma Brianna Kirk had changed, this time for good, and in both senses of the word ‘good'. Peter had run away, when the hitting wouldn't stop, and when she finally crossed the line and insulted Uhura. No one did that to his heroes. He slapped her, and ran off, first in the company of a former friend who badly misguided him, and then with Uncle Bill Kirk in Montana, where George Kirk's older brother raised horses and sang painfully bad covers of ancient songs, including one by Elton John that was legendarily bad. Bill had asked him to stay. As a former lawyer, he could use Brianna's violation of her rehab-parole restrictions to put her away for good.


    Yet still he went back to Iowa, if for no other reason than to confront her, to call her out, and then ask her why she couldn't just be Grandma, and not an enemy. He returned to a woman who, he would swear, had been re-souled. He kept expecting her Janusian nature to assert itself, but in these last six months, the reversion to type had never come, and never would. In another time and place, Peter would learn that ‘re-souled' had been a far more accurate description than he had known. For the present, he gloried in the fact that, at long last, it was all right. Everything was finally going to be all right.


    Yet even that happiness was tempered and nearly negated by the dreams that wouldn't stop. He would have horrific dreams of the Three-Skull, of The Ancient Destroyer Of Worlds, of King Ghidorah. In the boy's dreams, worlds and empires were chewed up, driven into dust and less than dust. Vast powers were called down to stop the menace, and to a one they all fell. The most heartbreaking dream involved a young couple sending their only child off from a doomed world, only for the beast target the escaping craft, as though the vile thing knew. Before the craft was destroyed, the infant looked into Peter's eyes and said chilling words: "It Falls to You, Now."


    On this night, those particular types of dreams, and the other set wherein Peter saw cities crunched beneath his feet, did not come about. No, this was a joyous, wonderful dream. He walked through a door into his own personal paradise. For Peter Kirk was back on board the Bridge of the USS Enterprise. He had dreams of this before, but the Bridge had looked different. His heroes were older, and their uniforms were an odd shade of maroon. In this case, it was just as he remembered. He raced right for the command chair, and for the man three steps removed from God himself, so far as Peter was concerned.


    "Uncle Jim?"


    James Kirk looked his boy over, his usually expressive eyes neither cold nor warm.


    "We welcome our peer. The Rock, who is called Petrus Claudius, son of Jacobus Tiberius, walks among us. The Rock meets with us at The Temple. The Rock is The Rock Of Prophecy."


    Something was wrong, and not just with his uncle. Usually, Peter heard an odd ‘second track' with people, words spoken under their words. Most times, these words supplemented their spoken words. Other times, especially with people like Sam and Aurelan, the second track contradicted the first. He was still some years away from finding out the simple truth that he was hearing people's thoughts. This was a moot point in this instance, for unlike waking life or other dreams, this second track was not present at all.


    "Aunt Nyta?"


    The very beautiful woman he called his mother was no more engaged by his presence than was her lover.


    "The Rock will leave the sight of the living, but shall not die. Those who are The Rock may never die. He who is the Rock awaits The She, and then shall both be free. The Three-Skull cried out when the Rock was made, and has done so again. Twice more again shall this be."


    A man known for his emotion leaned against the divider railing, speaking without the emotion that marked even Vulcan healers.


    "The Rock opposes the Enemy, who is called by some as Ghidorah. Whole galaxies are gnashed between those awful teeth. Lives of unique quality lost. They are dead. They are dead."


    Peter would have almost called their tone stern, but when he saw the one that stood and walked as Hikaru Sulu, on whom stern ‘worked', in his opinion, it was still too distant to even be called that.


    "Yet it is upon that Rock that those mighty teeth shall shatter like glass. Then, even dread Ghidorah is mortal. The Rock must be patient, until this should come to pass. To the Rock alone is given the knowledge of the place called Meggido."


    Peter felt it. This place was not the Enterprise, nor even a dream of it. It felt timeless.

    Now, the ones who looked like Scott and Chekov took their turns. Their accents seemed diminished to the point of nonexistence.


    "This violation must cease. The universe is beyond its limits. It can bear no more."


    "The Rock is the vessel for the power. The Rock is the egg. The Rock has a face, and this face is seen, as though over a hill. Craggy and scarred, this is yet the face of justice. And Justice, Like Lightning, Must Ever Appear, To Some As Hope, And To Others As Fear."


    The barely-teen Peter had felt very close to the barely-adult Chekov. He felt none of that closeness to the entity that wore his image. Without realizing it, he reached out with his mind. In the forms they wore, each being stopped and grabbed at their heads, briefly.


    "You are of Bajor. I can feel it. What do you want with me? Your Kai visited me aboard Enterprise. I've never understood why. Tell me!"


    Peter closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, they were replaced by twin golden lights.


    "TELL ME NOW!!!"


    The place that was no place at all shook with his fury.


    "Listen up! I don't worship you. I have my God, and I have his son. They've proven more than enough. I don't need a bunch of preening popinjays who think they're..."


    Amidst the shouts of the confused, angry boy came a voice that finally sounded as it should. A man Peter had felt an odd kinship with, despite the distance he kept.


    "Will You Fight The Enemy?"


    "Mister Spock?"


    "Will You Fight The Enemy? Will You Fight Ghidorah?"


    Peter stood there, frozen. He was a boy who had survived the madness of a world, its nightmarish death, and the one-time wrath of a woman who should have always been the gentle creature she became, all without fear. But at the question posed by the Spock-alike, he became very afraid. As the vision ended, ‘Spock' spoke once more.


    "An answer is required."


    The boy awoke to a short but intense cry of pain.


    "Grandma?"


    He didn't feel like he'd been asleep, but of course that whole weirdness had to be a dream, right? Clear or foggy, Peter raced to be by his grandmother's side. The living room was dark, and before his vision could adjust, he tripped over something.


    "No. Please, just no. You have Marc, you bastard."


    He felt what he had tripped over, already knowing what he would find. The bastard, Death, had one more notch carved into its infinite stick. One more time, the young hero learned the harshest truth: You can't save everyone.


    "Grandma, please. No. Things were good again. You were good. Please, don't be..."


    "How does it feel, Peter Kirk? How does it feel to be made to fail your family?"


    His vision now rapidly adjusted, much faster than he could account for, if he were paying attention. The red rage that was slowly seeping into his soul made certain that he was not.


    "Madelyn?"


    "This is it, you alien freak. Payback."


    Madelyn Moonachie had been the friend who had misled Peter Kirk, and by misled, he meant betrayed. Back when Grandma had still been hitting him, he fled, and sought the company of his friend's family. She had snuggled against him, and made it clear that more could follow. More, Peter went with her family as their guest at a ‘retreat'.


    "You want payback, you little bigot? Who lied to who?"


    The retreat was a hate rally. Humans of low worth describing a coming ‘cleansing' of the ‘alien infestation'. The Rock Of Prophecy had been tricked into entering the lair of the Human worshipers of the Beast. Peter, like everyone else, had heard whispers of The Order Of The Ancient Destroyer. At that rally, as he heard hateful lies and genocide spoken plainly and as just common sense, he knew why people only whispered. Peter had left, but not before telling them all what he thought of them. In an uncharacteristically grandiose moment, he even told them he would find a way to stop them. Them and all their works.


    "My father won't even speak to me. So now your precious grandma doesn't speak at all!"


    Peter knew more. He knew why it was probably healthy for this girl not to be spoken to by her father, and how it would be even healthier for her to get out of his house entirely. But he was again past caring. Blood had to be repaid in kind.


    "You join her."


    Peter had only meant to backhand Madelyn, despite what she had apparently done. It was indeed the back of his hand that met her face. The wet, crunching noise that followed had not been his intent. Madelyn Moonachie, junior space bigot, a child of such massive abuse, she no longer knew what right even looked like, was flung against the living room's opposite wall. The impact was bone-jarring, to be certain, but the already-dead girl felt nothing at all.


    "Why would you do this? And-how did I just do that?"


    The first answer would come soon enough. Part of the second, regarding his strength, owed partly to the fact that Aurelan Sorel Kirk's father, Thomas Sorel, was once a high-ranking Romulan defector named Tasorel. But Peter knew nothing of that, and, to have it known, Peter had already been as strong as his full-grown grandfather when he was only three.


    "Don't move."


    There were weapons trained on the dazed boy, and he was surrounded by tall men in red shirts. If his head had been clearer, he might have more quickly recognized them as Starfleet Security. But his head was not clear at all, and the red rage now ruled him entirely.


    "Why did you kill my grandma?"


    In a slicing motion, Peter brought his right hand up, breaking through the phaser rifle of the man who told him not to move. As the arc completed, Peter's hand split the man's chin, straight through his jaw, and sent him flying into the ceiling.


    "You monster! The commander was a good...."


    Peter grasped the neck of the shouter, and squeezed, intending to ask questions about why they were there. But his lifeless eyes flopped upward in their sockets, and he fell as soon as he was released.


    "Fire, you morons!"


    The phaser rifles lashed out at him. Peter felt that he should have been surprised by his resistance to them, but somehow he wasn't. As each burst of concentrated, amplified radiation struck true, he only felt stronger. Three crumpled from leg kicks meant only to push them away. A punch to the chest on one of them became a punch through the chest. Revolted, Peter stared at his bloodied hand.


    "I'm-strong."


    ----------------------


    *Moving swiftly through the waters
    Cannons blazing as she came
    Brought a mighty metal War-Lord
    Crashing down in sheets of flame
    Sensing victory was nearing
    Thinking fortune must have smiled
    People started cheering
    'Come on Thunder Child'
    'Come on Thunder Child'*
     
  2. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    Indeed he was strong, and he had to marvel at weak his attackers were, and how slowly they were moving, as though in tar or molasses.


    *Or did Sam and Aurelan lie to me, about how all people could do the things I can do? Was all that warning about ‘showing off' just another control mechanism? I wanted you two to be my parents. What did I care about sterility, and donations, and all that? Why couldn't you have stepped up-for me?*


    The attackers kept on, and Peter knew full well the Kirks of Deneva 3 were in no position to answer his question, if they even would have. So he asked another, more current one.


    *Someone sent assassins out after me, but they made them out of frozen glass?"*


    But that suited him just fine. Once again, someone somewhere had decided that Peter Claudius Kirk had it too damned good, and that it was time to take it all away. So the angry young man would in turn do some taking of his own.


    "Who are you? I have-I have powerful friends!"


    Well, he had heroes who seemed to like him, or who were able to put up with him, in any event.


    *But they're not here, are they? They would be, if they could. And they would expect me to keep myself alive long enough to tell them about it, in any event. So stop whining, Mister Kirk. Because Marc would want you to live, too.*


    Peter was still shocked by what he could do, but this took a firm back seat to both the thrill of battle and the struggle to deny these people. Whoever they were, and whatever their true target (He massively doubted it was him), was, they weren't going to get it.


    *They're after you, Jim, aren't they? Well, monsters have taken everyone else I care about. But they're not getting my uncle. I've been a sla-an indentured servant. I won't be bait. Make book on that.*


    He wasn't thinking clearly, if he could be said to be thinking at all. Whether it was some hidden aspect of his physiology or just adrenalin, Peter was less caring than ever as he picked up the largest of the redshirts, and hurled him bodily through the living room window. The boy pointed at the shattered frame. He did not yet register that transparent aluminum should not have broken like that.


    "You don't deserve to wear that uniform! HEROES WEAR THAT UNIFORM!!!!"


    ---------------------------------


    *The Martians released their Black Smoke, but the ship sped on, cutting down one of the tripod figures.*



    ----------------------------------



    Yes, he thought. There was no way these people were real Starfleet. Madelyn and her family had belonged to that hate-group, and gotten together a bunch of their friends. Neither Peter nor the murderous bigots had counted on his life turning into a Mary Sue Johnson novel, but if it kept him alive, he wasn't complaining.


    The boy at last had a chance to think. He was neither an engineer, nor a healer, and while his legal father had been a scientist (and his unknown half-brother, David, was a prodigy) science was not his game. He knew exactly where he was, and there was no one to lead but himself. So he turned to the hero whose gentleness had been a comfort to him for as long as he could remember.


    "I have to get out a message. Alert the authorities."


    The wall-comm had been destroyed, probably first thing. That meant getting out. He looked down, and fought to keep from lying down with the dead woman.


    "I'm sorry, Grandma."


    By then, there was a small pile of bodies. But he hadn't meant to kill them-he wasn't even certain just how he killed them. They were invaders, posing as heroes for cover. Peter saw that this cover included a communicator, and grabbed it off the remains of one of his attackers. The woman who adopted him had shown him her work, and one of the things she had shown him was the recessed button on communicators meant to alert local authorities on any Federation member world. He spoke concisely and clearly, the relief of eventual rescue calming him for the moment.


    "This is Peter Kirk in Riverside, Iowa. I'm being attacked. Home invaders are here, and they have already killed my grandmother, Brianna. I need the police, right away. Please tell my Uncle, James Kirk, aboard the starship Enterprise that I am...."


    The communicator was beamed out of his hand, and the corpses were beamed away, as well. A wave of helmeted, armored invaders made their way in. Peter punched one of them in the head, and grinned when he saw the helmet go flying.


    *Creep. I knocked your damn helmet clean off, I...no.*


    The headless corpse fell on top of him, and Peter realized that the helmet he knocked off was not empty. No amount of wishing could change this. He brushed off his fallen enemy, but not the thoughts that assaulted him more ably than any of his physical opponents.


    *I've killed-again. How many did I kill tonight? My God, I killed a girl I once liked. But they were in the wrong, weren't they? I didn't know I was this strong. Or are they so weak? But they're full-grown men, and I'm a boy, and I'm killing them with ease. Horrible ease.*


    A second voice began to play inside his head. A voice very clearly not his own. Peter Kirk wondered about his sanity.


    **Think of the dead on Deneva. Think of how they didn't stay that way. Think of who put so many of them back down, once and for all. Peter Kirk, one of history's most efficient killers. One day, billions will fall by your hand. One day, you will be like me.**


    The last time Peter had heard that voice was when his little brother had died, not from the nerve-grabbing monsters, but from neglect while his family lay comatose. He didn't know the name of that voice, but he knew that its owner knew nothing of light, or good.


    "The wrong will fail, the right prevail..."


    **You don't believe that idiocy, do you? You want a song, boy? Here it is: Don't you know little fool, you never can win?**


    Peter said only a few words in response to the taunting voice before it faded.


    "Wrong thing to say to a Kirk, asshole!"


    His heroes would never surrender. Neither would he. That his simple, soul-deep mantra. The problem came that this mantra, while simple, was also simplistic. Almost anyone trained by Starfleet would have seen Peter's situation as a deteriorating one. They would have asked where these attackers were coming from, and how they might escape. They might even ask if the attackers were regarded by their unknown sponsor as mere cannon fodder.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    *Instantly, the others raised their Heat Rays and melted the Thunder Child's valiant heart.*



    ----------------------------------------------


    "Yes. He was permitted to send out the cover distress message. As calculated, the target's extremely regenerative physiology proved massively resistant to energy weapons. Duranium batons enhanced by gravimetric enhancement set at just over 9K Per Square Centimeter finally delivered enough punishment to bring him down. Suggest we get him back soon. This thing is a genuine monster, and monsters always get back up. At least in the old films. Again, confirming, target is acquired, squadron fatality of ninety-eight percent deemed acceptable. Clean-up squad has begun its work, neighbors all absent or co-opted, weather malfunction keeping local authorities at bay. Judas-Fish girl reported missing, will be found in basement of supposedly clean former pedophile. Moving out."


    Peter Kirk would live to become a great hero, and he would learn hard lessons from this night. He would also not be seen by a friendly face for another ten years. When he awoke some hours later, he would be weak as a kitten, and think he was in Hell. In this, he would not be very far off at all.


    ---------------------------------------------


    *Lashing ropes and smashing timbers
    Flashing Heat Rays pierced the deck
    Dashing hopes for our deliverance
    As we watched the sinking wreck
    With the smoke of battle clearing
    Over graves in waves defiled
    Slowly disappearing
    Farewell Thunder Child!
    Slowly disappearing
    Farewell Thunder Child!
    Farewell Thunder Child!
    Farewell Thunder Child!*



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Three Weeks Later...


    Pavel Chekov was still a year away from taking over as Chief Of Security. But his grieving Captain trusted him, and he would not betray that trust by giving anything less than his best. Even when that was not remotely enough.


    "Kyptin, all I can say definitively is that your mother did not commit suicide. Someone vwanted us to think so, but they left too many clues otherwise. So many, I think even the bungled attempt at making it look like a suicide vwas itself part of the cover-up, if such makes any sense at all."


    James Kirk could not even find the strength to nod.


    "Thank you, Ens-no. Thank You, Pavel. You've given me more than Admiralty Hall has, this entire month. You and Sulu said you wanted to hit the bars. Do it. Get numb for me while you're at it."


    Despite his CO's high praise, Chekov felt like he had done nothing at all, either for the great man he so admired, or for the nice kid he now had to mourn. As he left, Uhura entered.


    "Jim, Spock says that, while there are signs of an immense struggle, that whoever covered the tracks did so very thoroughly. I say, if anyone of a lesser caliber than Spock was looking at this, they likely would not even have found what little he did. That still doesn't excuse the Hall's foot-dragging..."


    Kirk looked at a book, and was silent. Uhura tried to break him away, to get him out of Peter's room and even out of James Kirk's childhood home entirely, receptacle as it was to so many bad memories.


    "Jim, I just said that our boy put up a hell of a fight, before he went down. While the precise DNA was masked, Spock says the attackers must have numbered well over thirty, all fallen attacking one young boy. It could even have been more, but Spock refuses to speculate past the evidence."


    Kirk still pored over the printed, bound pages, a gift to Peter from a biological father loving and proud, but as always, too damned far away to help.


    "Jim, Tom Sorel doesn't blame you, neither does Uncle Bill. Whoever killed Peter is to blame, not you!"


    He responded to his lover, one of a few not afraid to kick a legend in the pants. In fact, he had never been ignoring her. His mouth, jaw and tongue all felt positively leaden.


    "Nyta? He was reading ‘The War Of The Worlds'. He begged me for it. Said he'd been through every last holovid and reactive audio book version, and wanted to see it on paper."


    She wanted to offer him hope. To say that the fictional enemies of that story had been wholly undone by a means they never accounted for. But then again, the boy-her boy-wasn't going to be brought back to life by germs.


    "What part was he up to?"


    Kirk's voice broke as he said two simple words.


    "Thunder Child."


    They held each other through another long night, while funeral arrangements were made. For the boy they all mourned, the night would be a decade long.


    No one of the senior staff of the USS Enterprise would have believed, in the middle years of the twenty-third century, that their affairs were being watched from within Starfleet itself. Not one could yet dream that they were being scrutinized as though they were sworn enemies of the Federation. Only one of them even considered the possibility that Starfleet's sovereign power was fundamentally corrupt.



    And yet, across the gulf of an ideology based purely on hate, minds immeasurably ruthless and fearful regarded the rise of this group of officers with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against them. The first part of these plans had gone forward. A heroic innocent had fallen into their clutches, and the day belonged to this enemy.
     
  3. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    You did a magnificent job on this.
    You encompassed the theme, wove the bits from Wells's story in perfectly and filled in a piece of the Ancient Destroyer cycle as well. :bolian::bolian:
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    Reading it on it's own is fairly painful. I was lost in the sea of Kirks in the first few paragraphs. It doesn't stand alone very well.
     
  5. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    I apologize. It is part of a larger piece, and apt to do that as a result.
     
  6. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    I hadn't looked at it from that viewpoint. I've been reading his AD cycle and loving it.

    I believe, if interested, you can find what he has so far at ad astra. Check my sig for link. :techman:
     
  7. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: March Challenge : The Battle Of Riverside, PG13, 1/1, Ancient Dest

    One more rejoinder :

    Road House.